Prof. Tomasz Giaro – FNP Prize 2011 laureate
Prof. Tomasz Giaro – born in 1951 in Wrocław. A lawyer. Head of European History of Law Faculty of the Institute of Law History at University of Warsaw. Since 2008, Vice-Dean of Law and Administration Faculty at University of Warsaw.
A graduate of law at University of Warsaw (1972) which is where he also defended his doctorate thesis (1978) and postdoctoral dissertation – habilitation (1988). Received title of professor in 2009.
A laureate of the Humboldt Foundation scholarship between 1984-1985. He performed research at the Max Planck Institute for European History of Law in Frankfurt am Main. During his stay in Germany, he also worked at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and at the Free University of Berlin.
Initiator and coordinator of the grant entitled “Modernization process of the Eastern European legal systems of the 19th century” (2002-2004) and Volkswagen Foundation grant “Legal culture of Eastern Europe” (2004-2006), realized at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt am Main. Five comprehensive publications summarizing the results of research resultant from these grants have already been published. First two volumes were edited by the laureate himself.
In year 2006-2008, Tomasz Giaro was a visiting professor at the Law and Administration Faculty of the Silesian University in Katowice. During the winter semester of 2010-2011, he lectured at the Law Faculty of the Florida University (Gainesville) in USA.
He supervised 3 doctorate students. Author of 155 publications in Polish, English, German, French, Italian and Russian languages.
Member of the Committee on Antique Cultures’ Sciences at the Polish Academy of Sciences, “Polish Law & Economics Conference” Scientific Committee. He is also a member of the Programme Council for magazines: “UKSW Legal Journals” („Zeszyty Prawnicze UKSW”) and “Legal Forum” („Forum Prawnicze”) as well as the Russian magazine „Civilisticheskije issledovanja”. A juror of the annual scientific contest of the weekly magazine “Politics” (“Polityka”).
Professor Tomasz Giaro received the Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science for an interdisciplinary analysis of the category of truth in the doctrines of law from antiquity to the present – opening new prospects for understanding of the law as one of the foundations of European civilization;
The monograph entitled “Römische Rechtswahrheiten. Ein Gedankenexperiment” (2007), constituted a result of the laureate’s several years of studies and has been published by the renowned German publishing house as a comprehensive work in the scope of history and theory of law. Its subject is the criterion of truth as a tool of forming the legal norm. Arguments of truth (verum est) or falsehood (falsum est) were part of the discourse of jurisprudence from ancient Rome to the modern German doctrine. Made on a wider scale in the nineteenth century, however, the codifications shifted the burden of law-making from science to legislation. Because the legislator “commands but not discusses” a criterion of legal truth is in doubt. Prof. Giaro approaches this question in a framework of a broad analysis of ancient sources and later European legal tradition, using the method of thought experiment. Although an experiment interpreted literally is unacceptable in the legal sciences, the analysis of historical materials can answer the question whether an application of the truth criterion facilitates or impedes the legal discourse.
As part of discourse of the pre-codification era, the normative truth, composed of many value-formulating judgments constituted a “balancing” expression which permitted the complete acceptance of successful judgments of legal dogmatics. The application of an undifferentiated concept of truth has decreased however the precision of communication and which followed suit, the effectiveness of the legal dogmatics. The laureate indicates that the seeking of truth, as it is understood in empirical sciences, is futile in modern legal dogmatics. On the other hand, he notes that jurisprudence – as a science of a different cognitive status – would lose sense without the postulate of seeking the truth.Back